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BIG LOVE: Greensparty polyamorists push for equality in Marriage Act

GREENSpolyamoryPolyamorists – several operating in positions of high authority in the Greensparty hierarchy – are renewing their vow to get the same legal protection for their multiple-partnered relationships as male/female couples receive from the Marriage Act, creating a well-organised lobby group Polyamory Action Lobby or PAL to champion the cause.

Their website declares:

Polyamory is not a niche phenomenon – it is a lifestyle and sexual identity that exists throughout mainstream society and the LGBTIQ community. We will not allow our elected representatives to ignore us any longer.

The Polyamory Action Lobby’s key operatives and founders are Greensparty up-and-comers Brigitte Garozzo/McFadden (the convenor of the Sydney Uni Greensparty), Timothy Scriven, an “anarcho-revolutionaary libertarian socialist” who describes himself on Facebook as “an active member of the Greens on Campus” and Kieran Adair who wrote on New Matilda that he is “a Green.”

The group has recently launched its campaign, complete with website and social media campaign and is passionately engaging with prominent Greensparty figures to have their voice heard on “poly love.”

The move comes as Greensparty MPs descended on Sydney to make the most of photo opportunities at the Gay Mardi Gras, a once-controversial parade that has now become a great tourist attraction, rightly embraced by NSW Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell as a great blessing for Sydney. Even Fred Nile seems more relaxed about the whole thing these days.

So while pushing for the apparently popular cause of gay marriage is relatively straight-forward politics for the Greensparty, it finds itself under considerable and growing pressure from the well-connected and well-organised Greensparty polyamory faction to allow for marriages to allow for more than two partners, a decidedly less popular cause. Indeed, the language and arguments used by the polyamorists is strongly reminiscent of that used by same-sex marriage campaigners.

For reasons they haven’t ever fully explained other than by reference to pragmatism or suggesting it could usher in Saudi/Utah style marriages where one man could have multiple relatively powerless wives, current Greensparty politicians, including Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who has championed other changes to the Marriage Act, including to allow for same-sex marriage, are on the record opposing equal legal recognition of polyamorist relationships.

On SHY’s Facebook page, a debate among her supporters has arisen, that has left her and her staff concerned she is open to charges of bigotry, prejudice, hypocrisy and double standards on the proposed law reform. One opined, as noted by gay marriage opponent, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi in a recent Senate debate:

The first time in a long time the Greens have disappointed me. I know that it might be politically expedient to cast us poly people out but true marriage equality should let the people getting married decide what their family looks like.

Bernardi told the Senate that the Greensparty is adopting a gradualist approach to the issue, pursuing same-sex marriage between only two people first, before pursuing other issues than appear to have less community support. He got into a fire-storm of criticism when last year when suggest that bestiality might also be on the agenda. 

However, while the bestiality claims appear to have been speculative, and possibly designed to highlight his preferred position of not changing the Marriage Act at all, his well-researched remarks to the Senate certainly confirm a rising tide of support for polyamory among the Greensparty membership and the gay community generally. It threatens to cause the Greensparty a serious problem.

Interestingly, the PAL group favourably quoted Senator Bernardi on its Facebook page and even urged polyamorists to read Bernardi’s analysis:

“It is worth noting that in the Netherlands the first civil union of three partners was registered in 2005. It is naive and wrong to think that the same push will not come to Australia.” Cory Bernardi

Couldn’t agree more – thanks for your support patriot! Though your stalking of our members on facebook is a little disturbing.

To read Senator Bernardi’s full statement click the link below

The battle between pragmatic careerist cynics within the Greensparty, who often occupy staffer positions in Canberra, with its most cynical hub being in the Leader’s bunker, where they masterminded efforts like stripping controversial policy positions from their national platform to avoid criticism, is one of the most interesting political battles in the country.

In New South Wales, virulently anti-Israel politicians from the Greensparty, like former communist Lee Rhiannon, have led the charge with boycotts of Israel while in Victoria, the Greensparty state MPs only mention of Israel in the Hansard is a positive reference to its water projects. On this and many other issues the Greensparty is increasingly divided.

On polyamory, it’s clear that there is a strongly emerging tendency within the Greensparty that is already agitating for the policy change that they’ll eventually find hard to resist. One Sarah Hanson-Young cheerleader and Greensparty member, James Dominguez, the President of Bisexual Alliance Victoria wrote:

If there is ever a popular movement to legalise poly marriage in the future, The Greens will be the first to lend their support, I guarantee it. A few poly people are angry with them for not expressing support, but I think we need to be realistic.

The Australian explained Mr Dominguez lives with his wife Rebecca and Mr Dominguez’s boyfriend and Ms Dominguez’s boyfriend. 

There is genuine division in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, lesbian and transgender community on the issue that appears likely to put increasing pressure on the Greensparty not to sell-out their polyamorous supporters. And it’s not just a few noisy Uni students, either making a noise.

The Greensparty are half a chance of getting a Senator elected in the ACT, with the candidacy of Simon Sheikh, the founder of GetUp! who was nearly faced with the prospect of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by feisty Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella on the set of ABC’s Q&A.


The boss of the Greensparty in the ACT, convenor Simon Copland is demanding they take action on the polyamory issue. He attacked gay marriage activists who wanted to impose an “exclusive” restriction on the legalisation of gay marriage:

Yet, something is happening in significant parts of the queer movement and I don’t like it. I am now seeing major queer organisations and queer activists develop exclusive habits, excluding those who they think don’t fit the mainstream gay and lesbian model.

For example, after some publicity around the issue, marriage advocates from Australian Marriage Equality (AME) and the Greens recently game out strongly against the idea of polyamorous marriage. In commenting on the position, Alex Greenwich said AME’s concept of marriage was of “two people who rely on each other in a relationship to the exclusion of all others”.

Copland, a powerbroker in the Greensparty, is unhappy that the issue has been hijacked by what he sees as privileged and conservative forces within the gay community who are collaborating with “heteropatriarchy”.

These two examples are part on an ongoing problem with the queer movement where people who don’t fit into the mainstream queer mould are being excluded from the debate, with claims that they are ruining our chances to reach equality. They are the victims of all-consuming campaigns around issues such as same-sex marriage.

What’s happened? The institutional queer movement has become dominated by upper to middle class wealthy queer activists, who have populated organisations and put significant money behind the movement. The struggles that face this group are very different from those of other people.

The powerful Greensparty ACT convenor continued, arguing that the gay community and Greensparty ought not leave the polyamorous behind:

And that is what we are now seeing by the mainstream queer movement. Those in the minority (based on wealth and influence) of the movement are being pushed aside as the wealthy middle class fights for its acceptance into the heteropatriarchy and for equality.

People are told they need to conform to ‘family values’ and we begin to try and hide the ‘scary queers’ who may harm the rest of the movement.

As we do this, we lose the idea of liberation, and create a world where instead of one acceptable label (heterosexuality) we now may have two, if we are lucky (heterosexuality and homosexuality).

As the queer movement continues, it seems as though we are losing everything that is worth fighting for. I feel ashamed every time I see a mainstream queer activist tell me that someone isn’t part of our movement, or that their choice and the labels they place on themselves are not acceptable.

The Greensparty rising star, convenor of their Sydney University franchise and founder of PAL, Brigitte Garozzo/McFadden is also calling out current party leaders on the inconsistency of their position on marriage equality:

“The idea that love can only be between two people comes from the conservative definition of a ‘legitimate relationship’ between one man and one woman,” Ms McFadden said.

She strongly disagreed with the argument more conservative Greensparty figures put that Saudi or Utah style big love marriages dominated by a rich or powerful bloke could arise under legalised polyamory:

“Polyamory and polygamy are not the same thing,” she said. “Polyamory refers to consensual relationships between more than two consenting adults. As a feminist, I have serious concerns about the implications of conservative rhetoric that dictates the type of relationships women can have with other people. If a women wants to be in a relationship with a man and a women and another man, why shouldn’t she have the right to marry those partners.”


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Cory Bernardi does not deserve the ignominy of being a pin up boy for the polyamorous community. He is a solid citizen who was vilified for a speculative comment about the inevitable direction of the law over time if LGBTI (what a terrible acronym) unions were given the same recognition as marriage.

    He spoke what he believed and was unfairly punished for expressing views that were misrepresented.

    Marriage equality has been hijacked by the proponents of change whereas marriage equality is the proper traditional Christian perspective on the role of husband and wife – equal but different.

    There was a complete change for the better in the status of women under Jesus Christ – if you look at the biblical stories you will see the central role of women – including being the first to see the risen Christ.

    This leaves aside the issue of ordination to the priesthood where discerning the view of Christ who chose 12 male apostles even though he had many women whom he particularly saw as holy and worthy of forgiveness.

    I’ve always wondered why Christ came to earth as a male rather than a female given that God the Creator was always referred to as Father. There must always be a divine plan in the actions of the one true God in the Trinity.

    I’ve also wondered why Christ chose the Roman Empire times to be incarnate. Rome’s reach may have assisted the spread of the gospel but modern times have far more effective means of communication (albeit tinged with sarcasm and doubt – but so were the years under Rome).

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | March 4, 2013, 9:31
  2. It is not hypocritical to support marriage equality and oppose the recognition of polyamorous marriage.

    The law should not discriminate on the basis of an innate characteristic like race, gender or sexual orientation; polyamory is a living arrangement and a choice. It acceptable for the law to discriminate on the basis of choice- people are entitled to equal protection before the law regardless of how they were born, not on the basis of particular choices they make.

    There is no slippery slope- the establishment of de-facto recognition for same sex couples, equality under pension and superannuation arrangements and anti-discrimination laws has never lead to any recognition for polyamorous couples. The ‘civil union’ in the Netherlands does not recognise such couples, nor is it an actual Dutch registered partnership. The Samenlevingscontract is a written agreement that governs property ownership for those who are cohabiting- they have existed since the eighties.

    But at the end of the day, there are real polyamorous couples getting on with their lives. Their arrangement has absolutely no legal protection or recognition. If one partner in such an arrangement dies, both partners are excluded from wills, superannuation, hospital access etc. ‘Family values’ and white picket fence marriages are great, but these anachronisms should be embraced by those who want them and not imposed in the law to harm or demean those who establish alternative committed relationships

    Posted by David | March 4, 2013, 9:55
  3. if you are married to the Greens in any sort of relationship you are fuc@ed

    Posted by the Insider | March 4, 2013, 10:10
  4. Perhaps to placate them we could divide off a small section of Eastern Sydney or Prahran, make it separate from the Commonwealth of Australia, and within the sealed-off walls of these enclaves the Greens and their LGBTIQWXYZ crowd can marry whoever they please.

    Meanwhile the rest of the country can remain free of their influence, lifestyles, and lunacy before it’s too late.

    Just have a look at what’s going on in Canada at present – particularly the atrocious decision of their Supreme Court the other day!

    Posted by Fred | March 4, 2013, 10:36
  5. What about a dean mighell story.

    Posted by Jimmy | March 4, 2013, 14:13
  6. sorry.. i have just been informed that it is highly unlikely there will be a story written regarding the corrupt DEAN MIGHELL apparently Stephen Newnham and his wife Fiona Richardson MP are also involved with a DEAN MIGHELL scam.i am led to believe Andrew Landeryou are close friends.what a shame…..

    Posted by jimmy | March 4, 2013, 15:52
  7. awaiting proof reading i guess….

    Posted by jimmy | March 4, 2013, 15:53
  8. That will surely blow the Migration Partners list leaving our immigration system is a right mess. Guess you can have multiple hair armpit lesbian lovers, there is no limit to the Green madness

    Posted by Green madness | March 4, 2013, 16:18
  9. I guessed right.

    Posted by Jimmy | March 4, 2013, 16:29
  10. Fiona and steve?

    Posted by Jimmy | March 4, 2013, 16:31
  11. I was warned.

    Posted by Jimmy | March 4, 2013, 16:33
  12. Was not the failed CEO of Better place involved in setting up GetUp?

    Posted by Better Place | March 4, 2013, 17:38
  13. What will they come up next? wonder, is there a law that says that you cannot call them Watermelon loonies?

    Posted by Taliban fan | March 4, 2013, 18:01
  14. Corr Deano’s Mrs is a bit of alright I’d throw me leg over that and Percy would have a ball. Give us ring luv and I’ll show you a good time and I don’t want you to wear the strap-on that Deano demands either!

    Posted by Boofa | March 4, 2013, 19:19
  15. You will have plenty of time with mandy.Dean will otherwise be occupied.

    Posted by Jimmy | March 4, 2013, 19:53
  16. Steve and fiona i forgot andrew……..

    Posted by Jimmy | March 4, 2013, 19:54
  17. Time to go down to Bunnings to get a industrial high pressure hose kit to blast the Green vomit away

    Posted by Futureproof | March 4, 2013, 20:18
  18. Thanks for the article. For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues worldwide, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization @ http://www.Libertarian-International.org ….

    Libertarians join with Greens on the subject but the matter may be best understood and adopted through public dialogue and direct democracy.

    Posted by Jane Richards | March 5, 2013, 1:41
  19. Well why not bigamy? If you allow the man/woman requirement to be broken, everything else is then fair game.

    Posted by Anonymous | March 6, 2013, 16:32


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